This fantasy adaptation of Tchaikovsky’s famous ballet “Swan Lake” opens with Queen Evelayn trapped in the form of a swan by her nemesis, King Lorcan of the Dark Kingdom, who 10 years earlier robbed her of her conduit stone.
The kingdom is now in despair, menaced by an ancient force that Lorcan cannot control. He restores Evelayn to human form on the condition that she marry him, and she quickly realizes that nothing, including Lorcan, is exactly as it appears. The author does an excellent job of conveying Evelayn’s bewilderment at the world she finds herself forced into as well as the complexity of the choices she makes to save her kingdom. Her growing realization that as queen, she belongs to her people rather than to herself makes being a swan seem like the easier life. Romantic elements come through without sacrificing Evelayn’s strength of character. Lorcan and Evelayn become haunted souls whose family baggage makes shouldering the mantle of royalty and learning to form a bond of trust despite surface appearances that much harder. The tale makes readers question good and evil and teaches a sweet lesson about the redemption inherent in second chances. Evelayn is pale-skinned, and the characters have hair and eyes of many hues, including violet, red, and silver.
A dark and exciting sequel that radiates girl power. (Fantasy. 13-17)